Is the lack of Newcastle United transfer activity something that should concern us?

As it stands, in six days time NUFC will begin pre-season training with the same squad that ended the Championship season, with the exception of Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran, Sammy Ameobi and Matz Sels, whilst Florian Thauvin has also been sold for £10m.

No new players in, as yet, unless you count Christian Atsu, who has seen his loan deal made permanent for £6.2m, even though only starting 15 of 46 games in the Championship last season.

Florian Lejeune is a player (signing?) who is defining Newcastle’s transfer window at the moment, in the absence of players actually signing on so far.

At the start of the month, almost four weeks ago now, things looked quite promising.

On top of Atsu’s permanent capture, it looked as though deals for Tammy Abraham, Florian Lejeune and Willy Caballero (or Pepe Reina) looked very probable. A combination of potential signings that looked as though they could bring added quality to the Newcastle team/squad, for not a great deal of money in today’s market.

Caballero (or Reina) a very experienced keeper having played at the top level, Abraham showing a lot of promise as an 18/19 year old with Bristol City scoring 26 goals last season, whilst Florian Lejeune had reportedly impressed in La Liga and though a bit of an unknown quantity, if Rafa thinks he’s suited to the Premier League then good enough for us.

A month later and no sign of any experienced quality keeper, Abraham heading off to Swansea rather than Tyneside, whilst Florian Lejeune is still reported to be edging ever closer to signing for Newcastle.

It isn’t a disaster if any one or all of these players signs for Newcastle but the case of Florian Lejeune is one that has really confused supporters. In fact it has become a running joke for them on social media, how the local press repeatedly report that his arrival is getting closer.

Compared to most/all of the other players Newcastle are linked with, it does appear that Rafa Benitez/NUFC genuinely wants Florian Lejeune, media in both countries as well as club officials of (selling?) club Eibar back up the idea he is a wanted man. So the question remains, instead of getting ‘closer’ on a daily basis, why hasn’t the deal actually been signed off?

I think it is accepted as fact by the vast majority that the French defender has a buyout clause of just under £9m (10m euros) and Newcastle have been in contact with Eibar about the player.

You do have to worry about the rest of the transfer window if this transfer then can’t be put to bed quickly.

Newcastle fans will be hoping that alongside the likes of Atsu and Lejeune, Newcastle will be signing other players with higher profiles and a more substantial record of playing at the top level, whether Premier League, La Liga or wherever.

Looking below the surface of Florian Lejeune, yes he started 33 La Liga games last season and appears to have done well for Eibar in that campaign, but there isn’t very much else to go on.

He is 26 and had never previously played in the top tier of Spanish football, in fact his complete past history of playing in the top division of any country is eight starts for Brest in Ligue 1 five years ago (2012/13).

Otherwise, the rest of his entire playing history has been playing in the lower division of Spanish and French football, levels that are way below the standard of the Championship in England.

This is not to say that Florian Lejeune wouldn’t be able to succeed in the Premier League but he does have it all to prove.

Another angle on the transfer not getting finalised is that if the defender is somebody who looks like he could be a big asset, why would you mess around and not sign him up – potentially then letting another club to come in and make him a better offer?

From The Mag – 2 June 2017:

‘The Times report says that as well as Tammy Abraham expected to complete his loan move shortly, Rafa Benitez is also keen on signing Florian Lejeune.

The 26 year old Frenchman is another former Manchester City player, kind of.

Lejeune joined Manchester City in 2015 but was then immediately loaned back to Spanish second tier club Girona and didn’t make a single appearance for the Manchester club..

The French central defender can also play defensive midfield and has recently been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham after making a permanent move to La Liga side Eibar last summer, Lejeune helping them to a very credible 10th place in the league.

Florian Lejeune signed a four year deal for Eibar last summer but any transfer fee wouldn’t be prohibitive for Newcastle.

An uncompromising 6ft 3 centre-back, Lejeune picks up a few goals for a defender, scoring nine in the league over the course of the past three seasons. However, he also has a pretty bad disciplinary record, having managed to pick up 11 suspensions in the past four years.

Over the course of 2014/15 and 2015/16 he picked up a remarkable 30 bookings and two red cards in club football, last season though he moderated that a little and had just one sending off and seven yellows.

With the £6.2m signing of Christian Atsu, imminent loan of Tammy Abraham, plus potential deals for Lejeune and Caballero, Rafa Benitez appears to be clearly looking at a major overhaul of the squad. With all positions needing strengthening, it is likely we are going to see a combination of short-term deals with high wages for more experienced players, loan deals for players who at the moment Newcastle wouldn’t be able to attract/afford to buy, as well as the odd major transfer fee to be paid out as well.

In short, Newcastle are at last approaching a Premier League season with a policy of going for the players who are needed, whatever their age/background, rather than some daft rigid policy that involves ruling out most signings, limiting the club to just players of a certain age who may increase in value in the future.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Jon walker

    Is this the most negative fanzine ever?

    • Clarko

      Try reading the comments.

      • The Nut Job

        you work for Fat Mike don’t you

        • Clarko

          You work for Sunderland, don’t you?

          • Wor Lass

            You can`t put “work” andd “Sunderland” into the same sentence!

    • The Nut Job

      the answer to that is NO

  • Waxi

    We still have a couple of months to go in this window and we have been linked with hundreds of players already so i wish the media would back off. I’m sick of everyday being told we are linked with another 6 or so players it is total [email protected] and no one knows what the club are going for and when they will get him over the line. Just chill it will all be fine i’m Rafa has got it sorted.

    • Lhc

      Very nieve!

      • Waxi

        Nope just realistic. It will start to happen next week.

        • Lhc

          I admire your hope but I’m a realist and this is nufc and mike Ashley, another season of let’s finish 17th nufc will go absolutely nowhere whilst Ashley owns us Rafa in charge or not, sorry to kill the mood!

          • Waxi

            Lhc just have a little faith fella we still have a very long way to go and it might not be all bad.

  • Toon fan

    Does anyone have any business sense on here? It’s of stupid proportions to buy a player in the last week of the financial year or even the last 3 weeks of it.
    It is the 1st of July on Saturday.
    As I have said before, the time to worry is 3 weeks time if there are no signings.

    • The Nut Job

      you buy then then post date the payment, simple isnt it

      • Wor Lass

        “Tell them the cheque`s in the post, Lee.”
        “They don`t believe me, boss.”

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        No, that would end up with the directors in jail.

  • Toon fan

    To make a futter point, Newcastle United will miss the EPL money right now not last year. It therefore makes sense to put any signings on the new year accounts as we will have this season’s sky money in the bank next May /June to cover signings.

  • Geordiegiants

    People waxing on about we can’t even sign this one or that one. They don’t even know we are going for these players, it’s all paper talk!

    • The Nut Job

      Google Geordie its the best thing since sliced bread

      • Geordiegiants

        Ha ha, but where does google get these facts from?

      • Rich Lawson

        Just fined 2 billion for bias,is Ashley a shareholder ?

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Not often I agree with you GG but you are right.

      • Geordiegiants

        Ha ha, I’m always right BF 🤥!

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Heh heh, keep telling yourself that, you may start to believe it!

  • Kev-82

    I’m guessing the hold up is needing to shift players on, we can only register 25 players in the Premier League and with all the returning loanees we’re a bit heavy on the squad, I can’t see Cashley being happy to be paying wages for unregistered players.

  • Kneebotherm8

    I’d be amazed if we signed him or anyone else this week. I’d be equally amazed if we didn’t sign him or anyone else next week. Rafa wants his signings in as early as possible, but I don’t see Ashley splashing out in this last week of the financial year.

  • The Nut Job

    sounds like a cracking deal £9m for a player worth 1 who has no experience at premiership level
    has someone completely lost the plot or what

    • Clarko


      • The Nut Job

        you haven`t a clue bonnie lad

        • Clarko


  • The Nut Job

    July 1st Lads, that’s when Pen fold gets his phone back from HMRC

  • Wor Lass

    I`m looking forward to Monday morning and the array of new “stars” for the Chronic and the Mag to tell us all about. Bafatimi Bost, Hatem ben Lacazette, Michy Maximus Mouse and ….. Yohan Gouffran! June`s been great but it had to end eventually.

    • Rich Lawson

      You missed Andy Carroll out ?

  • Mrkgw

    Maybe, it’s a case of Charnley trying to impress his boss by saving a few million by bargaining hard which in turn causes us to miss out on countless signings? Ridiculous the difficulties encountered. Other clubs seem to manage with relative ease by comparison.

  • The Nut Job

    hi lads the village idiot clarko designates you a Mackem if you don`t love Mike ha ha

    • Clarko

      #BeenFoundOut #Panicking

  • Damon Horner

    Too much whining on again but apparently we’re not a demanding fanbase.

    Even if nobody comes in I think it’s fairer to judge the players on results never mind what business has been done before July 1st. Think they’ve earned more respect than crying over replacing them.

  • Alreet

    Strange isnt it. There was no moaning about perez and how good he would be coming from tenerife and been scouted by none other than carr. But we can moan about an unknown that hasnt signed yet and probably wont till next week.

    Rafa isnt any mug. He knows most of the leagues and the gaffers in there along witha few agents. This is probably tied up along with 5 others and wont be put through the books till july. Hes a little more astute than you might think and i doubt that the media roar about him leaving has any substance other than filling a page with ads.

    Move on once we actually have a few on the books

  • Natturner26

    “with the exception of Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran, Sammy Ameobi and Matz Sels”

    Did I miss Gouf’s departure?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Didn`t you know they`ve offered him a new contract, lets hope he doesn`t sign it

  • Desree

    Interesting I wonder if Penfold has been rattled by the IR and is now freaking out about every deal? Maybe we are under a lot of scrutiny and the deals are taking longer to negotiate. Carr is gone, Fatty has brung in a new man and he has ditched all interest in Rangers. Could there be some major financial investigations hampering deals?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Lets hope so, it seems the only way to get rid of the Scumbags is for the HMRC to nick them

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        And to what end? Mmm, you really don’t think much for you?

  • Stephen Paylor

    Come on guys, deals are obviously being scheduled to be done for July and the change in the financial accounting year. Just chill out and wait until next week

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    i dont know why anyone is surprised at a club that`s run on chaos & confusion and the chances are when signings are made you`ll say,
    “Who the [email protected]@k is that”
    Nothing will change until the Fat lads gone

  • anyobrien

    Doom army